An update has emerged regarding Newcastle United’s interest in Nathan Ake in the summer transfer window…
Transfer insider Dean Jones has revealed that the Magpies head coach is a big fan of the Netherlands international, having worked with him at Bournemouth. The reporter also added that the Tyneside club are likely to make a move if Manchester City give teams the green light to come in for the 27-year-old.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT about Ake: “Eddie Howe loves him, he’s had him on his mind for quite a while now.
“He recommended him as a signing for the summer and he’s potentially going to be available, so of all the people being mentioned, look out in the background, if anything starts to happen with Nathan Ake, Newcastle will probably be in the conversation.”
If the Premier League champions decide to cash in on the £41m tank, the Magpies must snap him up as he can be Eddie Howe’s own version of Ruben Dias, who is listed as a similar player to the former Cherries defender on FBRef.
The Portugal international was named the English top flight’s Player of the Season for the 2020/21 campaign, as his impact at centre-back was judged to have played a big role in City winning the title after losing out to Liverpool in the previous campaign.
Whilst Newcastle may not be expecting to win the league next term, they can land their own transformative centre-back signing in the sense that Ake could elevate the style of play that they are able to deploy next season.
The gem, who was dubbed “underrated” by Liverpool machine and international compatriot Virgil van Dijk, is a ball-playing defender who can use his quality to build play out from the back for the Magpies.
In Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days, Ake rank in the 96th percentile amongst centre-backs for progressive carries, the 98th percentile for passes attempted, the 93rd percentile for pass completion percentage and in the 99th percentile for non-penalty Expected goals and assists, as per FBRef.
Meanwhile, Dan Burn ranks in the 58th percentile or lower in those statistics, which includes him being in the 19th percentile for pass completion percentage. This suggests that, whilst the January signing from Brighton has been a rock in defence, he does not have the quality to progress the play out from the back to a high standard.
On the other hand, Ake’s statistics show that he is exceptional at carrying and passing the ball out from defence to initiate attacks for his team.
Therefore, the Dutchman could transform the way that Newcastle play and have a major impact on Howe’s team next season, much like the signing of his current team-mate Dias had on Pep Guardiola’s side. The 27-year-old can instigate moves from centre-back and quicken their build-up through the thirds when needed, allowing Newcastle to play a more possession-based style.